Is “Covid Brain” Real?
Many patients who appear to be fully recovered from relatively mild cases of COVID-19 are reporting a condition that is informally titled “Covid Brain” or “Covid Fog”. Reported symptoms include confusion, poor short-term memory, poor concentration, seizures, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, fatigue and trouble remembering words. In severe cases, patients have even experienced delusions. These symptoms usually don’t develop until weeks after a patient first comes down with COVID-19.
What is Causing “Covid Brain”?
Researchers are trying to uncover the cause of “Covid Brain”, but the task isn’t easy. COVID-19 has been linked to effects on almost every system in the body, many of which can directly or indirectly affect the function of the brain. With so many different symptoms to analyze and so many potential causes, researchers are faced with a challenging tangle of possibilities.
Several explanations for “Covid Brain” have been suggested by research, including 1) an auto-immune reaction that affects the brain and 2) the presence of inflammatory molecules in the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal column.
As of now, the exact cause, or causes, of “Covid Brain” are still under investigation. Hopefully, as research continues the situation will become more clear.
Although some patients have reported having “Covid Brain” symptoms for months, it is not yet clear exactly how long “Covid Brain” can last, or how it can be treated. According to Dr. Alexander Merkler, Neurologist at Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, however, “The good news is that there’s no evidence that this mental fog is permanent…”
For those who may be experiencing the symptoms of “Covid Brain”, it may simply help to know:
- They are not alone.
- It is real.
- It is being researched.
COVID-19 infections increase risk of long-term brain problems – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (wustl.edu)